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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Advanced Motor Fuels in Finland


Drivers and Policies

In 2015, total energy consumption in Finland was 1,305 petajoules (PJ), and the share of renewable energy was 35%. In 2015, road transportation consumed about 17% (177 PJ) of the total final energy consumption. Transport produces 20% of Finnish greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 90% of transport emissions are from road transport.

In November 2016, the National Energy and Climate Strategy outlined the actions that will enable Finland to attain the targets specified in the Government Programme and to set the course for achieving an 80 to 95% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.21 The targets for transport include:

  • Reducing traffic emissions by 50% compared to 2005, by 2030.

  • Increasing the physical share of biofuel energy content in fuels sold for road transport to 30% by 2030.

  • Increasing the number of electric vehicles (EVs) (or hydrogen-powered and rechargeable hybrids) to a minimum of 250,000 and the number of gas vehicles to 50,000 by 2030.

Other measures include improving the energy efficiency of vehicles and the transport system as a whole, and speeding up the replacement rate of Finland’s vehicle fleet. The refueling station network for new fuels and the network of recharging points for EVs will mainly be built on market-based terms.21 The role of increased use of alternative propulsion systems in vehicles and drop-in biofuels has been emphasized.


Advanced Motor Fuels Statistics

The total consumption of gasoline and diesel in Finland in 2015 was 4.1 megatonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) (Table 1). Of that, 492 ktoe were biofuels, with an actual share of 12% (with double-counting about 23%). This already surpasses the target of the national biofuel obligation law, calling for 20% biofuels (calculatory) in 2020. Ethanol is used in Finland both as such and as fuel ethers; that is, as ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) and tertiary-amyl ethyl ether (TAEE). The bioportion of diesel fuel mainly consists of paraffinic renewable diesel fuel.

Table 1   Use of Road Transportation Fuels in Finland in 2015



Ethanol & Ethersc










a   Includes alternative/bio.
b   Mainly renewable diesel as biocomponent.
c   Ethanol partly as fuel ethers.
d   Bio = meets EU’s sustainability criteria (2009/28/EC; without double-counting).

Source: Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association and Finnish Customs


The total road vehicle fleet in use in Finland in 2015 was approximately 3 million (excluding non-road) vehicles (Table 2). This included around 3,500 flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of using E85, around 2,000 gas vehicles using natural gas or biomethane (or bi-fuel gasoline/methane), and 1,000 EVs. The average age of cars was 11.7 years in 2015, and the age of cars scrapped was greater than 20 years.


Table 2   Types and Numbers of Vehicles in Use in Finland by December 31, 2016a

Passenger Cars





Other Vehicles









a   479 cars per 1,000 inhabitants; 37% of cars were diesel cars.

Source: Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi


Renewable Diesel Fuels
Renewable diesel is currently the main renewable component in Finnish automotive fuels.
Neste Corporation produces a renewable paraffinic diesel fuel, NEXBTL, at worldwide capacity of 2.6 Mtoe/year. In 2016, almost 80% of Neste’s renewable diesel production was based on waste and residue raw materials. Neste Pro Diesel contains at least 15% Neste renewable diesel. In the beginning of 2017, a renewable diesel fuel made entirely from waste and residues, Neste MY Renewable Diesel, was launched at select service stations. Neste’s renewable diesel is increasingly used in global markets.

The Finnish pulp and paper company UPM produces approximately 0.12 Mtoe annually of hydrotreated renewable diesel, UPM BioVerno, from crude tall oil in Lappeenranta. Currently, 10 vol-% of UPM BioVerno is blended to diesel fuel and sold at St1 Biofuels Oy (Diesel Plus) and ABC (Smart Diesel) refueling stations in Finland.

A minor amount (~0.019 Mtoe) of conventional esterified biodiesel, that is, fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), was used in Finland in 2015.

Bioalcohols and Ethers
In 2015, 56 ktoe of fuel bioethanol was sold in Finland (8.2 ktoe E85). Since 2011, RED95 ethanol-diesel has been tested in Helsinki using Scania’s ethanol-diesel engines in three trucks and two buses. The energy company St1 Biofuels has four decentralized Etanolix® plants using waste from the food industry, and one Bionolix® plant using biowaste from shops and households as their feedstock (0.5–3.5 ktoe/year/unit ethanol). The Bionolix® unit in Hämeenlinna is combined with a biogas production plant. The majority of transportation fuel bioethanol consumed in Finland is still imported.

In 2015, approximately 83 ktoe of bioethers, mainly ETBE and TAEE, were blended in gasoline in Finland.

Small amounts of biogasoline components are produced at Neste’s and UPM’s renewable diesel processing units, and blended in gasoline. Neste Oil produces traffic fuels also using tall oil pitch as a feedstock at the Naantali refinery. Biogasoline contains only biohydrocarbons (oxygen-free).

Natural Gas and Biomethane
At Gasum’s public filling stations, approximately 40% of customers select biomethane. The bus company Helsingin Bussiliikenne switched to biomethane in 2016. Several enterprises have opted for gas vehicles. Skangas has Finland’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal for industry and ships in Pori (30,000 cubic meters [m3], 15,000 metric tons [t]). Gasum has opened Finland’s first LNG fuelling station for heavy-duty vehicles at Vuosaari in Helsinki. Skangas also has LNG production plants and a terminal in Porvoo, Finland.

Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
Demonstration of fully electric buses started in Espoo in 2012. The public transportation authority in metropolitan Helsinki, Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), has ordered 12 electric buses from the Finnish start-up company Linkker. Operations with Linkker buses started in Espoo in 2015 and in Helsinki in 2017. The goal is to have 400 electric buses operating in the Helsinki region by 2025.

Demonstration of fuel-cell–powered working machinery commenced in the harbor of Helsinki in 2013. The first commercial hydrogen fueling station in Finland opened in 2014 in Helsinki, and at Voikoski, one station opened for Finland’s first, and, so far, only hydrogen car.


Research and Demonstration Focus

Special funds have been made available to stimulate research and demonstration of next-generation biofuels in Finland. The TransSmart program started by the Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) in 2013 focuses on four core areas: low-carbon energy, advanced vehicles, smart transportation services, and transportation systems. HSL has offered bus operators the opportunity to test new electric buses without impacting operators’ finances. LignoCat, 2013–2017, is focusing on developing a catalytic pyrolysis technology for upgrading bio-oil and will commercialize the solution. BTL2030, 2016–2017, aims to produce transport fuels from biomass by gasification-based concepts integrated with industries and district heat power plants. The High Value Bio-oils for Transportation and Diesel Power Plants project, 2014–2017, supports Finnish industries in developing and introducing second-generation biofuels.



Bioethanol and renewable diesels will be increasingly used as biofuels in Finland. In the long-term, cellulosic BTL (biomass-to-liquid) is expected to cover a significant share of the diesel pool in Finland.

In 2017, St1 Biofuels starts Cellunolix® bioethanol production in Kajaani, using sawdust and chips as feedstock (5 ktoe/year). St1 and SOK´s joint venture North European Bio Tech Oy (NEB) is planning a 50-million liter (L) (~25 ktoe) Cellunolix® bioethanol plant in Pietarsaari. It is estimated that the investment decision will be made in 2018, and the Cellunolix® plant could start up in 2020. NEB is also looking into expanding the Kajaani Cellunolix® plant by 25 ktoe/year. Suomen Bioetanoli Oy received 30 million € (34 million $US) energy support from The Ministry of Employment and the Economy in 2014 to build a new straw bioethanol plant at Myllykoski, Kouvola (~45 ktoe/year).

Renewable Jet Fuel
Oslo’s Airport at Gardermoen is the world's first airport to offer renewable aviation fuel refined by Neste. Lufthansa, SAS, and KLM announced that they will refuel their planes with this renewable fuel in Oslo. Neste's renewable aviation fuel is refined in Porvoo, and it meets the strict quality requirements for aviation fuels. The fuel is transported to Oslo as a 50% blend with fossil aviation fuel.

The LNG infrastructure being built up offers opportunities to consider LNG for heavy-duty transportation. The Tornio Manga LNG project plans to construct a terminal with 50,000 m3 of storage capacity by 2018. Gasam will construct four LNG/liquefied compressed natural gas (LCNG) refuelling stations for heavy-duty vehicles in 2016–2017. Haminan Energia Oy has plans to construct a LNG terminal in Hamina. Finland and Estonia will construct a gas pipeline, Balticconnector, which will enable the opening of Finnish gas markets starting in 2020 (currently demand in Finland is met only by Russian natural gas).

Major Changes
In 2016, the National Energy and Climate Strategy outlined the actions that will enable Finland to reduce GHG emissions. The targets aim at, amongst others, to cut traffic emissions by some 50% by 2030 compared to 2005, and to increase the physical share of biofuel energy content for road transport to 30%. The goal is to have a minimum of 250,000 EVs (also hydrogen and rechargeable hybrids) and 50,000 gas-powered vehicles by 2030